Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dragon of your dreams

This was a private character commission. Slumber, a cloud serpent.

I was given a drawing from the client and a rather detailed description and then a lot of creative freedom to interpret the dragon.

Briefly he was described as a creature of dreams, that travels through the sky like a chinese dragon. He can creates  cloud creatures to scout for him in places that he passe and visits those creatures/organisms with the strongest dreams granting them for a price. One of his scales is enough to reshape that creature/organism to the form that will either help them accomplish their dream or to the form that they dream to be.

If you look at the large image you will find cloud creatures swirling around him

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lamentations of the Flaming Princess

Here is a little piece I did for James  Raggi's for his Lamentations of the Flaming Princess RPG. This is the first of three images, so stay tuned for more. When James ask if I was interested in doing an  "european explorers in the Lost World" kind of thing featuring his three characters on horseback being chased by a tyrannosaur on the African plains I jumped at that chance. I have been planning on doing some dino images for some time, even have a few in the works, but have not had the free time to finish them up. So this gave me the opportunity to to combine work with pleasure. It was great fun. James is an exacting AD and knew what he wanted, his feedback really helped. I was so focused on the T-rex that the rest of the image was kind of suffering from inattention, he pushed me to make the image a stand out. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oy vey!

This cover is for the Book "The Moloch Caper" by Victor Pilgrim.  A kind of supernatural noir set in the future of an alternate Earth where a detective of Israelite blood finds himself embroiled in several cases that lead he and his Orthodox tinkerer friend down a road that will end with the confrontation of an ancient enemy of  the Jews long forgotten. Its release date is still not nailed down. Ill keep you all posted.
Character driven pieces like this are so much fun to do. Dont get me wrong I love doing the heroic epic sort of thing, but it was fun to create this 'odd couple' dynamic duo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

speaking of the four horsemen....

one more post, before I get back to work.. .just wanted to share this triptych of covers I did for Thunderstorm books for the cover of Michael McBride's God's End trilogy  . The Idea was that when the three books in the trilogy were laid side by side they would create one image. Those that know my work know how much I love doing images with a letterbox aspect ratio. It gives me elbow room to create and there is just something so cinematic about it,

Anthocon 2012

So I went to my first convention in years.  I was coaxed out of my cave by Tim Deal, one of the four horsemen (the other three being Danny Evarts,  Johnny Morse, Mark Wholley,). They made me the special guest Artist and promised me all rum i could could I resist? I had a great time. One of the high points was hanging out with the Hiram Grange gang. The 7 of us worked over the course of three years to create  the Chronicles of Hiram Grange. The five part sieries  is one part Lovecraft, one part James Bond-- that is if James bond were and opium addicted, absinth drinking, Jody Foster obsessed psychopath. It was the first time all of us have been together, and for me the first time I met any of them.  All and all it was great fun.

Let me see what spring is like On Jupiter and Mars

its show and tell time again. As usual I have been a little neglectful of posting stuff here. So Im gonna do my best catch you up on the goings on here at the Hanged Man Studio Space. Lets see where to begin, where to begin....... In the mood for a little martian intrigue?

Here is the book cover and web site banner I did for Darriel K Caston's sci-fi Novel "Gestation'  the first book in his Re-evolution of man series (

Monday, October 1, 2012

Camp Chippewa

Here is another project that is conspicuous in its absence of fantasy/sic-fi/horror elements. This is the Struzan-esque  poster I did for the short movie  Camp Chippewa. A film by Brandon Osterman. The film is a bitter sweet story of an anti-social boy and a gift in the way of a treasure map, that brings him out of his shell. They launched a kickstarter project to raise funding to finish up the movie and do the post production. Go check them out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The race is on

 I have at last been given permission to share a few of the images I did for the movie Peloton, a film by Daniel Rinsch that is currently in pre- production. This was particularly challenging for me. You may think painting dragons, or polar bears might be difficult, but, it ain't nothing compared to trying to paint realistic looking bike racing scenes. The uniforms of the competitors are as complex as any fantasy armor. The bikes, while seemingly simple ( they are after all just a few strait lines with a couple of circles attached at either end, right?) are a nightmare of perspective angles. The emotions as intense as any battle scene I have painted for an RPG. Truly an epic project. I am flattered that Daniel trusted me with his baby.

Friday, August 24, 2012

orphaned art

was cleaning out the old hard drive, archiving images when I came across these two gems. These pieces were done for a project that got canceled a little while back. I felt bad for these orphaned images and thought they deserved to be seen. Hope you enjoy them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

In the Market Place....

I love doing big complex images. If I made movies I would make the kind that Cecil B. Demille made, with a cast of thousands.This is an image I have been working for years. I did the first version probably about 9 years ago early in my illustration carrier. At the time it was one of my favorite pieces. Since then I have returned to it, with the idea of recreating it, many times. But, I would get pulled away by paying projects, or detracted by another of the many personal projects that I never seem to finish. I am not sure why I kept coming back to this one. There is something about the exotic, epic other worldly feel. To me it recalls the works of the orientalist, that group of  painters that captured  the near and far east in their romantic, sensual and exotic paintings.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Alternative Objectives

the work keeps flowing through, here is the latest, its the cover for the Alternate Objective a DM resource and advice book that presents new ways to challenge your players. You can go over to his kicksarter page for more info, or check them out at Sneak Attack Press. This cover was so much fun to do. It has been so long that Ive gotten a chance to do a melee. I was given several characters that they wanted in the scene-- An elf ranger, a swashing buckling hero and a dragonborn mage. Their objective- The Spear of Slaughter. The rest was pretty much up to me.  I must say my favorite part of the whole thing is the orc ducking under the dragonborn's devastating bolt of lightning. I just love his expression.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Couple more covers for Moonstone Books

who know what lurks in the hearts of men,,,,

,,,the Spider knows.

Wait? what? Who?,,,,The Spider?

Yup, the Spider.  Never herd of him? Well as any pulp fiction fan knows,  he was created back in the 30's as competition to the Shadow. By day he was a millionaire playboy.  by night he donned his slouch hat, cape and vampire make up to strike fear in the hearts of criminals, sort of a mash up of The Batman and the The Shadow. Anyway, it was great to have the opportunity illustrate  another of Moonstone Books line up of  classic pulp characters.

   So what do you get when you mix a Kick ass tough sexy PI with a reluctant, slightly bumbling but dogged paranormal investigator?   If you guessed a heap of trouble, your right.  Here's my the cover for Moonstones Books unlikely duo of Kolchak: the Night Stalker and Honey West: PI

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Queen of the North Wind

I usually determine when a painting is done by the deadline the publisher has set. I will continually tinker with an image, making micro changes, adding a brush stroke here and there,  until the last minute. These are, for the most part, changes that no one would possible notice. Its endless, well that is until the deadline comes. This compulsion makes it almost impossible for me to ever finish a portfolio piece an image I'm doing for the fun of it. I have many images like this, completed but never finished. I hope you enjoy this work in progress

City of Demons

Here is the cover to 'City of Demons' a young adult novel written by Kevin Harkness and published by the upstart Tyche Books. The folks over a Tyche books are going gang busters, they just launched at the beginning of the year and they have already put out or announced the publication of 5 books (watch out Tor, these guys are hungry). I am honored to have done the cover for two of them and looking forward to doing many more. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Angel Eyes

With a post title like that you might be expecting more celestial  beings like the last post. But, not this time, this time Im stepping out of the box a bit. These are some of the concept images done for an action/drama short film about child trafficking currently entitled “Angel Eyes”. Now  in the early stages of pre-production. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It the end of the world as we know it.....

 Here are couple images done for Richard Wright. I worked with him a few years ago doing illustrations for the Hiram Grange Chronicles and he approached me to do a Movie style poster to promote the release of his novel "Thy Fearful Symmetry, a full blown, fire and brimstone raining from the sky, rivers of blood filling the streets, the dead rising, heaven and hell, end of the world, block buster sort of thing. The Image to the left is what I came up with,,, I found myself humming REMs song, "Its the End of the World as We Know it" all the while I was working on it.

He is also wanted me to do the cover for a short story  he is releasing. The short story, "His Work to See"  was the genesis of the novel and he is giving it away free as a promotional thing, hopefully to be enjoyed in its own right, as well as driving people towards the novel (image below).

These were both great fun to do and Richard is the most gracious of clients.  On his blog he talks at length about his rational for spending the extra money to have a professional looking cover. As small and self publishers make up a fair portion of my clients I would urge them to read it. I would only add that in spite of what they say, the truth is people do judge a book by its cover. Every potential book purchaser will only give a book a second or two before moving on to the next book, so it should go without saying that your cover needs to really grab their attention, it needs to stand out against all the other books on the shelves. This is why the big publisher pay so much for their covers. It doesn't matter how brilliant your writing is, if the reader doesn't pick up  your book and read the back cover and instead grabs the book next yours where the publisher or writer spent a few extra dollars on the cover.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mirror Mirror, whose the deadlist of them all?

So here my latest cover for Moonstones Books Honey West series. These are fun little projects to do, the contents are left completely up to me, as long as they are evocative and draw the reader in. Most of the covers by other artist tend to focus on the sexual aspects of the curvy privet detective. I try and do something different with these, first and foremost I am trying to tell a story, a moment of suspense, just before the real action starts. I hope you enjoy my efforts

 you'll find my  previous covers here, here and here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Then vs Now

Every once in a great while I will revisit and old illustration, one done years ago, that I have a fondness for, or was particularly proud of at the time. I guess I find it very satisfying to see how far I have come as an illustrator. Looking back is a guilty pleasure.  I know it is a mistake to judge oneself this way, its too easy, like picking on someone years younger then you. One should always measure yourself against giants and labor to reach their  heights.

That being said, I recently finished this re-imagining of a painting I did some 6 or 7 years ago. It was one of my favorites at the time.  And just as the original image was for its time, I think this new version is a high mark for my current art work.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Monster Managerie

 So while I was working on the non-existant book, for the non-existant publisher (see previous post) I was also picking up small free lance projects here and there. One of those projects was to do a batch of images for Ink Well Games. It had been a long time since I had done spot illustration like this. It was a lot of fun to do a series of small less involved pieces and the variety was nice.  here are a few of my favorites.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Lady Dont Mind

Last time she jumped out the window, well, she only turned and
smiled. You might think she would say something, but you'd have to
wait a while. --Talking Heads

Friday, May 11, 2012

On the Road to No Where

  I know, I know, what you're all thinking. You're thinking that I just bugged out on my blog again. I know,  I've done it in the past. I know, I always come back, full of sweet talk, promising never to leave you again. Always swearing that this time it will be different, that this time ill post regularly. Then, after a few posts, I tell you that I'm going out for a pack of cigarettes and don't come home for months, making all kind of promises again. 
Well this time was it was different. This time I have a good excuse. You see, I've been down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass and to see the wizard, in what has to be the most bizarre experience of my professional career.  In short, last fall I contracted to do covers for a fantasy series by this guy set to self publish. Then shortly before he launched the first book it got picked up by a MAJOR publisher (we're talking MAJOR). The deal was huge-- a quarter of a million dollars for the series.  The author decided to to set up his own publishing company and then license the series to the MAJOR publisher. One of his best friend quit his job to run the business side, and he hired me to be Art Director, giving me a percentage of the company and a commission percentage on all royalties and licenses on our products.

Pretty fucking sweet, right? 

But wait it gets even better.

You see the MAJOR publisher showed the series to a MAJOR movie production company (the one from of New Zealand) and they were interested in developing the project. It was like a whirl wind sweeping though and suddenly I wasn't in Kansas any more. Imagine, little old me about to fly off to New York for a big meeting with the MAJOR publisher and the MAJOR production company.

Pretty unbelievable, right?

too good to be true, right?


it was a lie 
there was no deal. 
it was a lie
the letter welcoming said author to the MAJOR publishers' publishing family, the proposed publishing schedule for the four books, the quarter million dollar contract, all on forged letter head of the MAJOR publisher, along with forged signatures. 

it was all a lie
who does this? what kind of person would form a company and register it with the IRS? Draw up contracts with me? Have his friend quit his job? forge contracts and letters from a major publisher? The man was obviously pathological. I really think he believed, in some fantasy world of his own making, that it would all work out, That if he could keep the con going long enough, his book  would somehow get published and become best seller and he become a famous author -- 

---or maybe it was all about the grift to see how much he could get and get away with. Turns out he did take the forged contract to the bank to try and get a line of credit.  I don't know....

 I do know that over and over there were little things, coincidences, delays, mistakes that made me uneasy and I kept thinking,  this just doesn't add up. So much so, I only told a few friends about it and never announced it on my blog or facebook or in public. And I continued to do freelance work along the way. But, I would be lying if I claimed to know it was all just a big con job. I wanted it to be true and went along with it, hoping it would work out. Stupid me. All in all I only lost a few months of work. Creating a cover and character concepts for a book that may not even exist, designing letter head, logos, business cards for this sham company he formed.  But others left their Jobs, supported him. These people lost much, much more. All of this has been turned over to the legal department at the MAJOR publisher, and the supposed author has deleted his presence from the web an slunk off to who knows where.

I know I sound glib, but in truth, it leaves me sad..... not only for the obvious reasons, but I did some really beautiful artwork for this asshat that will never be published (above is the cover, below a concept piece)--  all of this work, time and for what?  Just petty grift and a pathetic need to be seen as a great man.

Ugh.... I need a smoke, going out for some cigarettes. I'll be right back, I promise....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A place Arcross Time

 A few posts back I mentioned that I was doing a series of black and white/ pen and ink style images for an anthology. Well it has been published and I must say the edition is gorgeous.Titled E Pluribus Undecim, it's a collection of  personal stories, grouped into three sections: Underground Stories from A City Not Somewhere Else, Confrontation with Mortality and the Cervantes Trinity. The stories jump through time, but most take place near here, in the Fort Vancouver area. This was a very different kind of project for me, not just because there was only the slightest hint at fantasy, or I was working face to face with the writer (most of my clients are from remote locations), but because of the personal aspect to these stories, revealing much about the writer and his loves and losses